witchcraft, was The Potterverse (was; DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 22 14:24:20 EST 2004


--- Robyn Starkey <rohina at shaw.ca> wrote:
> 
> > >1) Witches are servants of the devil - the
> official Christian line for most
> > >of Christianity's history (not so sure about
> now!)
> >
> >Less than half of Christianity's history, I
> suspect.  Is there any mention
> >before 1000AD of *witchcraft* as opposed to heresy
> of one sort or another?
> >Robyn?
> 
> I don't think the word existed with the particular
> meaning that it gained 
> later. On the other hand, there are references to
> unnatural magical doings 
> in some pre-1000 literature. Is Grendel's mother a
> witch? The poem doesn't 
> call her one, but maybe you could argue that she
> fits the profile.

iirc at the time of Charlemagne under church law
witchcraft wasn't a crime, but accusing someone of
witchcraft was. The idea being that the church had a
monopoly on magic so witches couldn't exist. The
church then was trying to stamp out popular beliefs.
It wasn't really for another 600 years before the
church really got into the act. It is six in the
morning here (awakened early courtesy of our young
puppy) and I am in no mood to look for references to
this now, so hopefully someone who knows more on this
will confirm or correct this.

Jon
 

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